Lawrence Frank usually subscribes to the old school, NFL-style theory of "you are what your record says you are."
At 23-37, before Friday night’s game, and seven games out of the eighth playoff spot in the East, the Pistons’ record would indicate they aren’t very good. But Frank, unsolicited before the game against the Hornets, changed to a more jazzy tune, perhaps in the New Orleans spirit.
"I think Washington’s a better team than their overall record, just like I think we’re a better team than our overall record," he said. "And I’ll say it again: This team (New Orleans) is much better than their record. Sometimes their youth in close games, similar to ours, can’t get one play here, one play there. What they did to us in Detroit was no fluke."
I can get behind Frank’s thinking here.
The Pistons aren’t the same team since they’ve acquired Jose Calderon, who has obviously made them better. Regardless of Detroit’s ability now, its pre-Calderon games still bring down its record. Just look at the numbers:
- Pistons with Calderon: 5-9 (.357)
- Pistons without Calderon: 18-30 (.375)
Uh. That didn’t go how I expected. The Pistons have actually won more without Calderon, but that doesn’t ruin Frank’s argument. See, the Pistons have been without the injured Andre Drummond. All these losses in his absence don’t change how good the team actually is. Obviously, the Piston are better when Drummond plays.
- Pistons with Drummond: 18-32 (.360)
- Pistons without Drummond: 5-7 (.417)
Umm. How about Pythagorean wins, which better indicate a team’s production than pure wins?
- Pistons actual wins: 23
- Pistons Pythagorean wins: 23.75
Aha! We’ve finally found a way the Pistons are better than their record. Who cares that it makes them less than a single win better? They’re better, end of story.
Previous sarcasm aside, I believe teams can be better than their record. I’m a bit surprised Frank would say it, though, considering his typical tone. The problem with using such a subjective measure is – I’ll let Will Bynum take it from here.
"I mean, we feel we are better than our record, but shoot, ask most other teams if they’re better than their record, you’ll get the same outcome," Bynum said.